Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here’s the Tribute
Boy, lots o’ tribute records out there, huh? Some shouldn’t have been made (for example, any “metal” tribute with decidedly/obviously non-metal bands covering metal songs). Others should continue, volume after volume (the great Mštšrhead tribute, the Iggy Pop tribute, etc.) And I think it’s important to recognize where the “tribute” is genuinely a tribute and not just a “great idea” some neophyte publicist or whatever had up their butt on a rainy day. (Though the record at hand probably had been up biting the ass of the Radical Records folks for quite a while…)
It’s more than clear to me that Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here’s the Tribute is 1000% genuine. Firstly, the bands featured are punk rock bands who — believe it or not — play genuine, original punk rock, all the time. That is, they have made names for themselves by putting out great albums (the Booked, I.C.U., Submachine, Murphy’s Law, et al.) and by playing the traditional punk circuits (wherever the van takes you between breakdowns). Secondly — and this is to Radical’s credit — there’s a recognizable pattern to the matching of band with a particular song. For example, who better than Murphy’s Law to cover “New York”? How about the Malefactors covering “I Wanna Be Me”? (Bonus question: between October 1993 and February 1994, I opened my radio show with “I Wanna Be Me” combined with something else. A Kosovo “Viking Power” poster to the first reader with the “something else” — reply to email@example.com). Of course, Road Rage (apparently managed by Sid Vicious’ mum at one time) should cover “E.M.I.” Also included are “Friggin’ In the Riggin'” covered by Showcase Showdown, “Belsen Was a Gas” covered by the Lower Class Brats, and “Anarchy in the U.K. covered by Blanks 77.
Special mention goes to the brilliance of having Oi! Kings (that’s http://www.angelfire.com/nj/oikings) Niblick Henbane cover “The Great Rock ‘N Roll Swindle.” Talk about a no-bullshit, Oi! from the guts sound, Niblick Henbane is the band. When I first read about them covering that song, I already heard — in my mind’s ear — the crusty, whiskey-baritone (really cigarettes and beer) of Harpo the singer belting it out.
Definitely one of the Best Buys of 2000.
Radical Records, 77 Bleeker Street, Suite C2-21, New York, NY 10012; http://www.radicalrecords.com